Curt Morse, executive director of the Downtown Improvement Board, went on “Pensacola Speaks” to clear up confusion over Vinyl Music Hall blocking off parking spaces on Garden Street for bands to load off equipment for their concerts.
Originally, the media reported that a citizen had his car towed from one of the spots. When reporters tried to find out by authority what did Vinyl have the power to do it, no one seemed to know. Morse said he was unaware of any agreement with the DIB or its parking management company. City Hall had no records.
“Our financial coordinator was out on vacation, and of course we run a very, very lean operation here so not a lot of hands on deck that were able to answer that question for me,” said Morse. “So I ran with what I knew, which was very little.”
When the financial coordinator returned, she told Morse that she knew about an agreement.
“We went to the archives and found binders of past use agreements for everything from those meters there on Garden Street adjacent to Vinyl Music Hall, as well as other use agreements for things as innocuous as dumpsters that are in parking place,” said Morse.
He had found an agreement with Vinyl for the spaces, but it had expired in January 2016. For some reason, his predecessor, Ron Butlin, failed to renew it. Butlin resigned last September for health reasons, and Morse took over in November.
“The unfortunate reality is the DIB in past has possibly not run as lean and as efficient as it could,” said Morse. “So what we’re working on now with our team is trying to refine those processes, make sure they’re in place so that things like this don’t happen. “
Morse has met with the management of Vinyl Music Hall. A new use agreement has been signed, and Vinyl will also pay for use of the spaces in 2016.
He said, “They’ll be paying a 25-percent premium on those parking spaces to have the privilege of using them the day of the show so that they can provide that adequate parking for a tour bus and a trailer to come in and unload, perform, load again, and then leave.”